St Albans resident, Bethany Mogie, was arrested after rushing onto the British Grand Prix circuit during the first lap of the race.
Mogie was amongst five Just Stop Oil (JSO) supporters that dashed onto the Silverstone track on Sunday, July 3, and sat down in protest.
JSO are demanding that the government calls an immediate halt to new oil and gas projects in the UK, vowing that they will continue to disrupt sport and cultural events until they see action.
Formula 1 have already made steps to go green, announcing plans in 2019 to have all Grands Prix to use sustainable products by 2025 and to have a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030.
Bethany Mogie, 40, said: “This is the most frightening thing I have ever done, but I’m supporting the Just Stop Oil coalition because I’m even more terrified about what this government is doing to our children. They are behaving criminally, and I refuse to stand by and watch. If we do not act with urgency to end our reliance on fossil fuels, climate collapse will be inevitable and unstoppable. We will lose everything.”
The protesters made their stand on the infamous Wellington straight, where cars can reach speeds of 300kph.
The race was brought to a premature halt after Alfa Romeo driver, Zhou Guanyou, suffered a horror crash on the first corner.
As stewards rushed to help Zhou to safety, the rest of the cars reduced their speed as they returned to the pits.
This meant that cars were driving slower when they passed the protesters at Wellington, greatly reducing the risk of their dangerous invasion.
Afterwards, a Twitter argument ensued between F1 legend Martin Brundle and Gary Lineker, who debated the efficacy and safety of such a protest.
Lineker tweeted his support: “If it’s not already too late, history will look back very favourably on these people”.
Brundle responded: “Gary please don’t encourage this reckless behaviour”, arguing that had the cars been running at full speed, the protesters would have been “sliced into 100 pieces and fans, marshals and drivers were wholly at risk of injury and death.”
Seven time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, also weighed in on the incident.
On Instagram, he said: “I’ll always support those standing up for what they believe in, [but] it must be done safely. Please don’t jump onto our race circuits to protest, we don’t want to put you in harm’s way.”
Mogie and the other protesters were dragged off the track to jeers from the crowd, and were swiftly arrested. Mogie was released on bail ahead of her scheduled appearance at Northampton Crown Court on August 19.
Chief Inspector Tom Thompson of Northamptonshire Police was “really disappointed”, as their offer to “facilitate a peaceful event” was ignored.
Bethany Mogie’s protests have been under the spotlight before.
In Grays on October 13, 2021, Mogie sat and blocked a road as part of an Insulate Britain protest.
One driver angered by the disruption, Sherrilyn Speid, pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving after she attempted to move the protesters away with her car.
An assault charge against Speid, in which she had allegedly beaten Mogie, was dismissed.